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Voluntary disclosure under imperfect competition: Experimental evidence

  • Lucy F. Ackert
  • Bryan K. Church
  • Mandira Roy Sankar

This study investigates disclosure behavior when a manager has incentives to influence the actions of a product market competitor in a Cournot duopoly. Theoretical research suggests that under various conditions the manager has incentives to withhold some signals and disclose others. Using an experimental economics method, we find support for partial information disclosure. Our results suggest that when the manager receives private information about industrywide cost, unfavorable (favorable) information is disclosed (withheld) and the competitor adjusts production accordingly. In contrast, when the manager receives private information about firm-specific cost, disclosure behavior is not affected by the favorableness of the information and the competitor's production decision is invariant to the disclosure choice.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. with number 98-7.

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Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Journal of Industrial Organization, January 2000
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:98-7
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  1. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  2. Forsythe, Robert & Isaac, R. Mark & Palfrey, Thomas R., 1987. "Theories and Tests of (Blind Bidding) in Sealed Bid Auctions," Working Papers 670, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
  4. Darrough, Masako N. & Stoughton, Neal M., 1990. "Financial disclosure policy in an entry game," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-3), pages 219-243, January.
  5. Okuno-Fujiwara, Masahiro & Postlewaite, Andrew & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1990. "Strategic Information Revelation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 25-47, January.
  6. Alison J. Kirby, 1988. "Trade Associations as Information Exchange Mechanisms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 138-146, Spring.
  7. King, Ronald R. & Wallin, David E., 1995. "Experimental tests of disclosure with an opponent," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 139-167, February.
  8. Vives, Xavier, 1984. "Duopoly information equilibrium: Cournot and bertrand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 71-94, October.
  9. Daniel Friedman, 1982. "Price Formation in Double Auction Markets," UCLA Economics Working Papers 278, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Xavier Vives, 1990. "Trade Association Disclosure Rules, Incentives to Share Information, and Welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 409-430, Autumn.
  11. Gal-Or, Esther, 1985. "Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 329-43, March.
  12. Wagenhofer, Alfred, 1990. "Voluntary disclosure with a strategic opponent," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 341-363, March.
  13. Richard N. Clarke, 1983. "Collusion and the Incentives for Information Sharing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 383-394, Autumn.
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